Grant Arends is a 2016 MMM volunteer and will be documenting his time during the first team installation season. Follow more of Grant’s trip HERE.

While water covers 70% of our planet, freshwater makes up only a tiny fraction of that. Just 2.5% of the Earth’s water is fresh. The rest is saline or ocean based.

However only 1% of our freshwater is easily accessible with much of it trapped in glaciers and snowfields.

That leaves only 0.007 percent of our planet’s water available for our planet’s 6.8 billion people to consume.

Unfortunately we humans aren’t the best consumers of water. We waste a lot. Did you know that it takes 630 gallons of water to produce one hamburger? Now that’s a mind bender!

Now the good news is that the amount of freshwater on our planet has remained fairly constant over time. Water continues to recycle in our atmosphere.

The issue is that the population has exploded and our climate is changing simultaneously. So water is an issue that may very well impact all of us all over the world in the decades to come. Water and not terrorism may very well become the dominant geo-political issue that our children and grandchildren will be dealing with during their adult lives.

Our world doesn’t stand a chance without clean water. The lack of safe water is THE major obstacle to the people living in developing nations. In Africa alone, 332 million people lack access to clean water. That is the equivalent of the entire population of the United States….

1 in 10 people lack access to safe water
1 in 3 people lack access to a toilet
A child dies every 90 seconds from water related diseases. That is more than AIDS, malaria, and war related deaths COMBINED.
The good news is that for many many places in the world we now know how to provide clean drinking water and improved sanitation.

And by getting involved it’s NOT charity. We aren’t “giving” anyone anything. We are INVESTING in the long-term future of people that deserve the same opportunities we have.

The WHO has data that shows that for every $1 INVESTED in providing clean water that the return on investment is $4. Now I’m in the investment business. So trust me when I say THAT’S REALLY GOOD!!

I became passionate about water on “accident”. One day I was picking up my kid from choir practice and practice was running late. So I just happened to be sitting next to another parent that was also waiting. Turns out this parent was a new pastor at my church and was in charge of international missions. We struck up a conversation and out of the blue he asked me to join him on a mission trip to Africa.

Previously I had never been on a mission trip anywhere. Ever.

But I went.


While there, I happened to meet a man that had dedicated his life to providing clean water to people in need in Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia. He told our mission team his story and then showed us one of his organziation’s wells the next day.

This man and his wife have spent the last 27 years installing 20,000 wells providing clean water to over 3 million people.

His story moved me.

So in 2013, I decided to get involved by volunteering my time for 3.5 weeks as part of one of his teams.

I personally helped complete 100 shallow water wells. What I saw and experienced changed my life.

We have all seen the pictures on TV infomercials. We’ve seen them so much we become numb to it.

But when you actually see it with your own eyes and take pictures like this one that I took on my iPhone it changes you.

So this coming Friday I’m going back.  I hope to go back again, and again, and again, and again, to do my small part.

I recognize not everyone can go to Africa.

But people can help change the world from home.

I will be volunteering for Marion Medical Missions (MMM).  I will be ranting about MMM very soon.

MMM has developed a shallow water well solution that is completely built and sustained by local Africans thereby not only bringing water to those in need, but jobs to those that need it.

I will work to help complete 100 of these wells.  The funding needed to make this happen is $400.

This $400 pays for the pipes and the pumps.  They look like this:

In addition to paying 100% of my own expenses, my goal is to pay for the 100 wells I will work on.

That’s 100 wells times $400.

That’s $40,000.

Any amount helps immensely.

However,  any person or group  that donates $400 or more will receive a picture of the actual well that you funded pumping water for the very first time.  One of my jobs is to take these pictures for donors like you.

So along with your prayers I am asking for your help.

I need to find 100 well sponsors.

You can donate any amount HERE.

But even just helping tell this story by sharing my blog would mean the world to me.

I’m a realist.

Bono said there will always be poor people.  But we can do so much by in investing in people to give them a fighting chance to help pursue what we call “The American Dream”.  We can help families have a chance to provide the opportunity for their children to live a healthier and more prosperous life therefore leaving this world a much better place.


  • National Geographic
  • WHO